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    US Dollar trades neutral while the US commemorates Presidents’ Day

    Source Fxstreet
    Feb 19, 2024 17:50
    • The DXY Index is mildly up on Monday’s session.
    • No relevant data was released during the session and American traders celebrate Presidents’ Day.
    • The FOMC January minutes will be the highlight.

    The US Dollar (USD) measured by the Dollar Index (DXY) stands neutral around 104.30 with American traders on the sidelines celebrating the US Presidents’ Day and markets digesting the Producer Price Index (PPI) data from last Friday.

    Amid rising headline and core PPI, the US Dollar Index may see further upside as the hot inflation figure from January may cause the Federal Reserve to retain a cautious stance and. This week's focus will be on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes, and several Federal Reserve (Fed) officials will be on the wires in the next few sessions.

    Daily digest market movers: The US Dollar stands flat as markets digest last week’s data

    • Last week, the US reported that Retail Sales and Industrial Production declined in January.
    • The PPI from the same month, however, came in higher than expected.
    • Markets await fresh drivers to continue timing the start of the Fed’s easing cycle. FOMC’s January meeting minutes are due on Wednesday.
    • With eyes on the Federal Reserve's next steps, the drop in odds for a March cut to 20% as per CME FedWatch Tool is a significant shift. The probabilities of a cut in May stand at 33% as markets seem to have pushed the start of easing to June.

    Technical analysis: DXY bulls struggle to gain ground, must defend 100-day SMA

    On the daily chart, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is exhibiting a flat position within positive territory. This signifies that the buying momentum in the market is slowing and a balance is being achieved between the buying and selling forces. However, this flat position might also mean that the bulls are taking a breather after a strong run.

    The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) histogram shows decreasing green bars. This indicates that bullish strength is losing steam and that bears might soon gain the upper hand. While bullish momentum is slowing, it doesn't illustrate a full-blown bearish takeover but rather a weak bearish bent.

    On a broader scale, the Simple Moving Averages (SMAs) are giving a brighter picture. With the index trading above the 20, 100 and 200-day SMAs, it suggests that the bulls have managed to remain in control over longer periods.

    However, the prevailing dynamic suggests that bulls are struggling to gain further ground. This corroborates the MACD and RSI signals pointing toward decelerating buying momentum. Thus, in the short-term, sellers may have the upper hand, giving way to a potential bearish tilt in the market, while the long-term outlook remains positive. 




    US Dollar FAQs

    What is the US Dollar?

    The US Dollar (USD) is the official currency of the United States of America, and the ‘de facto’ currency of a significant number of other countries where it is found in circulation alongside local notes. It is the most heavily traded currency in the world, accounting for over 88% of all global foreign exchange turnover, or an average of $6.6 trillion in transactions per day, according to data from 2022.
    Following the second world war, the USD took over from the British Pound as the world’s reserve currency. For most of its history, the US Dollar was backed by Gold, until the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971 when the Gold Standard went away.

    How do the decisions of the Federal Reserve impact the US Dollar?

    The most important single factor impacting on the value of the US Dollar is monetary policy, which is shaped by the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed has two mandates: to achieve price stability (control inflation) and foster full employment. Its primary tool to achieve these two goals is by adjusting interest rates.
    When prices are rising too quickly and inflation is above the Fed’s 2% target, the Fed will raise rates, which helps the USD value. When inflation falls below 2% or the Unemployment Rate is too high, the Fed may lower interest rates, which weighs on the Greenback.

    What is Quantitative Easing and how does it influence the US Dollar?

    In extreme situations, the Federal Reserve can also print more Dollars and enact quantitative easing (QE). QE is the process by which the Fed substantially increases the flow of credit in a stuck financial system.
    It is a non-standard policy measure used when credit has dried up because banks will not lend to each other (out of the fear of counterparty default). It is a last resort when simply lowering interest rates is unlikely to achieve the necessary result. It was the Fed’s weapon of choice to combat the credit crunch that occurred during the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. It involves the Fed printing more Dollars and using them to buy US government bonds predominantly from financial institutions. QE usually leads to a weaker US Dollar.

    What is Quantitative Tightening and how does it influence the US Dollar?

    Quantitative tightening (QT) is the reverse process whereby the Federal Reserve stops buying bonds from financial institutions and does not reinvest the principal from the bonds it holds maturing in new purchases. It is usually positive for the US Dollar.

    Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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